The lower 12 miles of Alameda Creek has been channelized
for flood control and development has occurred right up to the creek levees.
Artificial structures in the channel prevent migratory fish from reaching
suitable spawning and rearing habitat in upper Alameda Creek. Efforts
are underway to provide fish passage and improve fish habitat in the wide,
shallow, un-vegetated flood control channel.
Lower Rubber Dam Removal
The Alameda County Water District permanently removed their lowermost rubber dam from the Alameda Creek flood control channel in 2009. The concrete foundation was left in place for grade control stabilization and a low-flow fish ladder was installed in a notch through the foundation to allow continuous fish passage. Read the ACWD web page on the rubber dam decommissioning.
BART Weir and Middle Rubber Dam Fish Ladder
The 12 foot high BART weir is the major barrier to fish migration in lower Alameda Creek. This bank-to-bank sloping concrete apron was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers to protect piers for the railroad and BART tracks from erosion. The Alameda County Flood Control District and Alameda County Water District will build a fish ladder to allow fish to bypass both the BART weir and adjacent inflatable rubber dam (#1) used for water supply. The draft Initial Study for the project was released in March 2013. The environmental review document will be recirculated in 2016. Construction of the fish ladder is scheduled from 2017-2020. Read the ACWD web page on the planned fish ladder and view a You Tube video of the preliminary fish ladder 3D model.
Upper Rubber Dam Fish Ladder
The Alameda County Water District has initiated planning and design for the final fish ladder in the flood control channel, to allow steelhead to migrate past their upper rubber dam (#3), located just below Mission Boulevard. The draft Initial Study for the project was released in March 2013. The environmental review document will be recirculated in 2016. Construction is scheduled from 2017-2020.
Fish Screens at ACWD Diversions
The Alameda County Water District is nearly done installing fish screens on all their water diversion facilities in the flood control channel, to protect out-migrating juvenile steelhead from being diverted into water intakes. ACWD installed four fish screens in 2008 on a diversion pipeline below Mission Boulevard, one fish screen in 2010 at the Bunting Pond diversion, and a fish screen at the Kaiser Pond diversion in 2014; design is nearly completed for fish screens at the Shinn Pond diversions.
The Alameda County Flood Control District and other stakeholders in the Alameda Creek Fisheries Restoration Workgroup are looking at potential redesign of the Alameda Creek flood control channel to improve fish passage for adult and juvenile steelhead, while maintaining channel stability and flood carrying capacity. A low-flow channel stabilized by vegetation is being investigated this would concentrate low water flows, reduce water temperature, provide cover for migrating fish and improve wildlife habitat.
Other Smaller Structures in the Flood Control
In 2007 the Union Sanitary District stabilized an eroding sewer pipe crossing underneath Alameda Creek in the lower flood control channel, ensuring it would not become a barrier to fish migration.
The Alameda County Flood Control District is planning to modify three grade control structures in the lower flood control channel downstream of the BART weir, to ensure steelhead and salmon can migrate past them.